WINNIPEG — For many, the Nutcracker ballet is as much a holiday staple as eggnog and mistletoe, but for Elizabeth Lemont, it’s more than that — it’s a dream come true.
The 24-year-old’s love affair with the ballet began two decades ago. Lemont slipped on a pair of ballet shoes for the first time at the age of four and was hooked: “I absolutely fell in love with ballet — so feminine and pretty, so many tutus and rhinestones; you can’t go wrong with that!”
The Ontario native travelled to Winnipeg as a young teen to study ballet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At 14, she played young Clara and now, 10 years later, she’s landed the adult lead: the grown-up Clara.
“To be in the starring role is a huge deal for me. It’s my first role that’s going to be a breakthrough role for me. I’m really, really excited,” said Lemont.
When asked to choose a favourite Nutcracker scene, Lemont didn’t hesitate.
“The snow scene. The music is so gorgeous. It’s almost spiritual. You’re on the stage and you’re dancing your heart out.”
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s version of the holiday classic is distinctly Canadian, featuring a Wellington Crescent home, an outdoor hockey game and a battle on Parliament Hill.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s rendition of the Nutcracker kicks off its Winnipeg performances on Dec. 19 and runs until Dec. 29. The ballet will be performed over 10 days for a total of about 10,000 people, artistic director André Lewis said.
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